To give you the best possible overview of the special features of garnet in a nutshell, below are 5 facts about the gemstone garnet.
5 facts about the garnet
Fact 1: The Garnet Group
The term "garnet" is a collective name for several minerals. A total of nearly 40 different commercial and historical garnet types are known. All these garnet types have the same physical properties and crystal structure, but with different chemical trace elements, which are decisive for the color. In trade, the name "garnet" is usually used for the dark red variety.
Fact 2: The variety of colors
- The garnet occurs in all colors, except blue, because a blue garnet has not yet been found.
- The garnet gets its different colors from the metal it contains, such as manganese or calcium.
- Especially the red color varieties are very well known and popular, for example the Mozambique garnet.
- Only in natural light the garnet appears in its original coloring. If you hold the gemstone for example in the light of a neon tube, the garnet color changes.
- The garnet can be from transparent to translucent to opaque.
Fact 3: The countries of origin
The gemstone species in the garnet group are mined in different countries around the world. Among them are India, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and Sri Lanka.The precious demantoid is mined in Russia and Namibia, for example. Again, the country of origin can determine the price: since demantoid is rarely found in Russia, it is more highly priced than that from Namibia. The tsavorite is found in Kenya and Tanzania. The pink rhodolite mainly in India and Sri Lanka.
Fact 4: Common features of all garnets
- Stroke color: white
- Mohs hardness: 6.5 to 7.5
- Cleavage: indistinct to none
- Crystals: (cubic) rhombic dodecahedron, icositetrahedron
- Fracture: conchoidal, splintery, brittle
5. fact: valuable history of garnet
In Greek mythology, garnet is mentioned in the legend of Persephone's abduction by Hades. Even the Vikings used garnet jewelry as a grave decoration to light the way to Valhalla for the dead. In the Middle Ages the stone was called "Kar-funkel". Here "Kar" stands for darkness and "Funkel" for flame. Since crusaders felt safer under the protection of garnet, they decorated their armor with it. In the 19th century, especially Bohemian pyrope garnet was highly valued and used for many pieces of jewelry.
The representatives of the garnet group in our online store
The rhodolite belongs to the garnet group of the pyrope. Thanks to its violet-red color it was a sought-after gemstone already at the time of the Roman Empire. The most important deposits are located in Asia and Africa.
The Mali Garnet
The Mali garnet also belongs to the group of garnets. It comes, as its name suggests, from the Mali region. It has a yellow to yellow-greenish color and a beautiful brilliance due to its high light refraction.
The Mandarin Garnet
The obsolete name for Mandarin Garnet is "Spessartine." This name comes from the first known locality of the garnet species in the Spessart region in Germany. Nowadays, the name Mandarin Garnet is common because the bright orange hue is reminiscent of a tangerine. The color varies mostly between orange and yellow, but can also be from brown-red to dark red to black.
Grossular comes in a variety of colors, but is distinguished by its bright, fresh, mint-green color. Also the intense green and emerald green garnets belong to the Grossulars. However, due to their rarity, they are called tsavorites.
The Tsavorite, the green variety from the garnet group Grossular, owes its name to the place of discovery. It was discovered in 1974 in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya. The most important countries of origin today are Kenya and Tanzania.
To the garnet group Grossular belong furthermore: Hessonite, Leucogranate, Hydrogrossular, Tsavolite.
Other representatives of the garnet group:
The andradite was first found in gem quality in 1978. It is also called calcium iron garnet or lime iron garnet. Typical for him is the yellowish-gray to dark yellow color.
Demantoid represents a variety of the garnet mineral andradite and is the most expensive variety of garnet. Its name means "diamond-like luster". The color of demantoids ranges from a light green to emerald green due to chromium.
The Andradite garnet group includes: Demantoid, Melanite, Topazolite, Rainbow Garnet.
Almandine has the most frequent occurrence within the garnet group. It got its name after a city in Asia Minor. Garnet stones from Radenthein are primarily almandine, often with pyrope content. The color spectrum of the mineral ranges from a dark brown to a violet tone.
Uwarowite is a rarely occurring insular silicate of the garnet group. The hue varies from dark to emerald to brown-green. Depending on e.g. purity the crystals can be vitreous to oily shiny as well as transparent to opaque.
The garnet - An very popular gemstone
Due to the high light refraction and the hardness of the gemstone, an extraordinary brilliance in all color shades is created, making the garnet as if made for the center of a sparkling piece of jewelry. The red color varieties in particular are highly sought after. The red garnet is striking, powerful and festive. Instead, the emerald green garnet is the most valuable.